Sometimes the most meaningful opportunities in life happen when you stop for a moment and look around, increase your awareness and open yourself up to the unexpected.
For the last few years, I have had the honor of working with Bill and Tracy Frist. Good design is often a very intimate process, and I am always grateful to my clients for entrusting me with all that makes a home uniquely theirs. Personal artifacts that reveal stories from their past and hopes for their future meld with statements of passions and values; and over time, the narrative of my clients’ lives evolve into beautiful surroundings. It is all very personal in nature – and, for me, incredibly rewarding.
Sitting on their back porch one evening on a beautiful farm we are working on, I learned about Bill and Tracy’s love of Cuba. I had been working with their extensive Cuban art collection for months, integrating it into their living spaces; but now I had the back story – their travels, their relationships with the country’s artist, and their passion for supporting emerging talent. Little did I know that Cuba and its extraordinary artistry would change and affect me in significant ways.
Two months ago, I stood in the yard of this home on Nashville’s Wortham Avenue, designed by a highly acclaimed architect, Jeff Dungan, noting the unique elements and thoughtful design. I was having a conversation with one of my closest friends and allies and an amazing Realtor, Elizabeth McGuire, and she introduced me to Brady Fry, a builder who is more an artisan, really, who seamlessly balances the literal with artistry. I was inspired.
We are a group of entrepreneurs, talented in our individual fields and united in a passion for design, who wanted to do something different. Something important. The Frists graciously supported an idea; Greg Cicotte and Jackson National Life Insurance Company generously offered underwriting, and the Nashville community embraced our concept for “Cuban Summer.”
Saturday August 15, 2015 we gathered to celebrate and experience an often misunderstood culture, its food and drink, and, most especially, its artist. For those of you like me, who’s never been to Cuba, we are able to experience a sliver of it right here in Nashville. In our midst, celebrating with us, is one of Cuba’s most renowned artists, Hector Frank, and his lovely wife. Through Hector’s works, as well as the works of five other impactful artists, we are able to add color and beauty and inspiration to our homes while also contributing to an important charity, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and its Mountain Artist in Residence initiative.
I am a dreamer, and my enthusiasm sometimes carries me to places beyond my expectations. But with the help of many talented and very special people, this extraordinary event has been made possible. Thank you for sharing in it with us.